When talking about campaign finance reform, some people get concerned when the phrase, “public funding” gets brought up. After all, they say, we need to be about saving, not spending. The current political climate is fraught with federal or state debt rhetoric aimed at across the board spending slashes. Watching the bottom line is important, but sometimes we have to spend to save.
Consider the case of “public funding” for clean elections. Taxpayers are currently being fleeced because corporations make political donations and expect payback in the form of tax breaks, subsidies, no-bid and/or wasteful contracts, regulation changes, etc. By taking away the opportunity for a “pay to play” campaign finance system, clean elections will save the public money that currently goes to wasteful, corrupt programs. Most Americans know that money in politics is dirty, corrupting, and causes most of the roadblocks to bipartisan problem solving we’re experiencing today. We just can’t repair our ailing economy when so many sacred cow programs cannot be assessed honestly in the light of day due to influence peddling. This is the source of the gridlock that is breaking our hearts, no matter who we voted for, or what side of the aisle we prefer.
By Susan Cantrell Holloway. Susan is a retired lawyer and academic language therapist who now volunteers for causes that will help strengthen our democracy.